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Vancouver police arrest two in connection with the Keefer Place gaybashing

Brothers charged with assault causing bodily harm

Vancouver Police say they received many tips after releasing photos of two suspects taken from surveillance cameras near Peter Regier and David Holtzman's Keefer St home where they were gaybashed on June 12. Credit: Vancouver Police Department

The Vancouver Police Department has arrested two brothers in connection with the vicious June 12 assault on two gay men in front of their Keefer Place home.

Peter Regier and David Holtzman returned home last month to find two men drinking on their doorstep. When Holtzman asked one of the men not to urinate near their door, he alleges the men hurled “a barrage” of homophobic slurs at them and then physically attacked them.

The men repeatedly called them “fucking faggots” and “cocksuckers,” Holtzman told Xtra after the incident.

“This was on our doorstep. We were attacked and savagely beaten,” Regier alleges.

“I was huddled up in a fetal position,” Holtzman says. “That’s how vicious the attack was. I was on my back, he hit me in the back of the head at least 50 times.”

Holtzman and Regier were both taken to hospital and treated for concussions. Regier needed staples to close his scalp wound.

Parminder Singh Peter Bassi, 30, has now been charged with two counts of assault causing bodily harm in connection with the incident. Ravinder Robbie Bassi, 27, is charged with one count of assault causing bodily harm.

The brothers were arrested without incident June 30 at their Richmond home.

They have since been released from jail and must abide by a number of court-imposed conditions.

The Bassi brothers will appear in Downtown Community Court on July 5 at 9 am.

Const Jana McGuinness says the arrests came after an intensive two-week investigation by members of the police department’s Robbery/Assault Squad.

McGuinness says police received multiple tips after the release of surveillance photographs through the media on June 18.

“It was investigated as a hate crime,” McGuinness notes, “and we’ve forwarded all our information to Crown. They have to prove it’s motivated by bias, prejudice or hate at the time of sentencing. The Crown has to prove it or the accused has to admit it.”

“We look into it as a hate crime so we’re not blind to anything,” McGuinness says.

Regier and Holtzman say they look forward to the case going to trial.

“We were really happy to hear the news today, and proud of the Vancouver Police Department for making the arrests in our case in a timely fashion,” Regier told Xtra.

“It’s a gift that it came on Canada Day, when we celebrate the fundamental values that make Canada a special place and an example to the world values like human rights and the rule of law that produce safe, happy, healthy and prosperous communities,” he adds.

The arrest of the Bassi brothers comes two months to the day after Michael Kandola’s assault on Jordan Smith was declared a hate crime by a BC Supreme Court judge.

Smith had been walking hand in hand with another man on Davie St when Kandola and a group of men called them “fucking faggots” and asked “What the fuck is this?”

When Smith turned back to confront the men, they swarmed him, then Kandola knocked him unconscious with a sucker punch to the jaw. The judge found anti-gay hatred fuelled the offence.